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Splendid expects significant growth in mangos

Splendid by Porvenir LLC had a successful transition year in 2016 and is now poised for significant growth in 2017, anticipating that the firm will represent about 5 million cartons of mangos by year’s end.

At the outset of 2016, longtime principal and owner Larry Nienkerk sold his company, Splendid Products LLC, to a group that included veteran employee Sergio Palala, son Michael Nienkerk, and major mango supplier Daniel Ibarra of Agricola Daniella, based in Sinaloa, Mexico. The company name was changed to Splendid by Porvenir, which is the name of Ibarra’s home town. Ibarra is the company president while Palala was named general manager. The elder Nienkerk stayed on through much of 2016 helping with sales and the transition.

With the dawn of 2017, Larry Nienkerk has officially retired and the company moved to new offices in San Bruno, CA, just a few miles from its old perch in Burlingame, which it called home for three decades.

Palala said 2016 was a good season but it was a transition year and he said 2017 will be a “growth year” as he estimated at least a 15 percent increase in volume. “We are very happy with our first year,” he said. “We used it to solidify our position with the trade. It was very important to maintain our customer relationships while changing our focus a little bit.”

Palala said the new strategy may sound corny but it’s all about focusing on “one customer at a time.” He said throughout 2016, the staff concentrated its effort on the top half of its customer list, building programs and becoming year-round suppliers for its core customers. Specifically, Palala had face-to-face meetings with many customers in an effort “to tailor our service to what they want.”

Toward that end, the company has expanded its sourcing opportunities for the 2017 Mexican mango season. “We have a new infrastructure in Mexico and are concentrating on more direct shipments and have expanded into new areas.”

Splendid Products was very well known for its spike in production in the second half of the season from the Los Mochis area, which, not so coincidentally, is where Ibarra’s Agricola Daniella is located. “We were always one of the biggest suppliers from Los Mochis, but now we are going to have more supplies in the first half of the season,” Palala said. “We will now have a wider array of suppliers in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacán and Nayarit.”

With this increase of a minimum of 15 percent, he said Splendid by Porvenir can provide programs all season long from direct grower partners. “We are one step away from the field,” he said.

In addition to its new modern office building in San Bruno and its increased volume, the company has expanded its sales staff. Joining Palala, Michael Nienkerk and Ben Brittain on the sales team are Marco Espinoza, Joe Yrigoyen and Gonzalo Alvarado. Alvarado is in Texas with Brittain while Espinoza and Yrigoyen man the Nogales office. Nienkerk and Palala operate from San Bruno along with the support staff.

Besides Mexico, Splendid by Porvenir also sources mangos from Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.